The War Milestone No One Noticed

Samuel Stone.JPG
The 5,000th death of a U.S. service member in Iraq and Afghanistan was barely noticed two weeks ago. Military Families Speak Out dispatched a press release on the June 2 milestone but it got little play. Today, the U.S. body count is up to 5,024 for Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan and related War on Terror operations, 708 dead, 30 with ties to Washington state) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (the war that even George Bush admitted had "nothing" to do with the Sept. 11 attacks, 4,316 dead, 278 with Washington ties). Seattle Weekly's (and the Northwest's most complete) War Dead listings, which begin with the Dec. 5, 2001 friendly fire death of Army Staff Sgt. Brian Cody Prosser, 28, whose mother lives in Seattle, followed by the death of Puyallup Army Sgt. Nathan R. Chapman 31, the first U.S. soldier to die in Afghanistan combat, now include three more names: Air Force Staff Sgt. Timothy P. Davis, 28, of Aberdeen, killed in Afghanistan, Army Staff Sgt. Sean D. Diamond, 41, a Fort Lewis solider from Dublin, Calif. and Army Spc. Samuel D. Stone, 20, of Port Orchard, (above) both who died recently in Iraq. (Stone died May 30, on or about the day of the 5,000th Southwest Asia death). Besides those bewildering death-toll numbers, there are these, from the most-reliable war-numbers keeper, 31,354 wounded in Iraq (estimated, however, at more than 100,000); 320,000 vets with brain injuries, and on average 18 veterans committing suicide every day. Even if the dual wars ended today, they'll continue on the Home Front for decades to come.

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